This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
The seed of Datura Stramonium Linne (nat. ord. Solanaceae). Synonyms. - Thorn apple. Stink-weed. Jamestown Weed.
Asia; naturalized in most countries.
About 4 mm. long, reniform, flattened, pitted and wrinkled; testa dull, brownish-black, hard, inclosing a cylindrical, curved embryo, imbedded in a whitish, oily perisperm; of an unpleasant odor when bruised, and of an oily and bitter taste.
The chief constituents are - (1) Daturine (.02 to .03 per cent.) which resembles Atropine but is probably identical with Hyoscya-mine. Usually a little Atropine is present, and the term daturine is occasionally applied to the total alkaloids of Stramonium. (2) A fixed oil (25 per cent.), which contains Daturic Acid, C17H34O2.
Incompatibles. - Caustic alkalies, metallic salts, and mineral acids.
Dose, 1 to 3 gr.; .06 to .20 gm.
Extract of Stramonium Seed is used to prepare Unguentum Stramonii.
Dose, 1/4 to 1/2 gr.; .015 to .03 gm.
2. Extractum Stramonii Seminis Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of Stramonium Seed. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.
Dose, 1 to 3 m.; .06 to .20 c.c.
3. Tinctura Stramonii Seminis. - Tinctura of Stramonium Seed. Stramonium Seed, 150; Diluted Alcohol, by maceration and percolation to 1000.
Dose, 5 to 30 m.; .30 to 2.00 c.c.
4. Unguentum Stramonii. - Stramonium Ointment. Extract of Stramonium Seed, 10; Diluted Alcohol, 5; Benzoinated Lard, 85.
The leaves of Datura Stramonium Linne (nat. ord. Solanaceae).
About 15 cm. long, petiolate, dark-green, smooth, ovate, pointed, unequal, especially at the base, coarsely and sinuately toothed; thin, brittle, and nearly inodorous; taste unpleasant, bitter and nauseous. Resembling Stramonium Leaves. - Belladonna leaves, but less wrinkled; hyoscyamus leaves, hairy.
As of the seeds; the proportion of alkaloids is very inconstant.
Dose, 1 to 5 gr.; .06 to .30 gm.
The physiological action of stramonium is precisely that of belladonna; the difference being that stramonium relaxes the muscular coat of the bronchial tubes more powerfully than belladonna, and it may cause the heart to be a little irregular, and is generally thought to be more active than belladonna.
There is no reason why stramonium should not be employed for the same purposes as belladonna, but it is rarely used, except in cases of the existence of the symptom asthma, to relieve the spasm of the bronchial tubes. For this it is very valuable. Cigarettes of the leaves may be smoked, or the drug may be given internally. The following powder, which gives off dense fumes if burnt, is said to afford great relief for asthma: - Leaves of Datura Stramonium, Datura Tatula not official, Cannabis Indica, and Lobelia Inflata, all in powder, of each 12; nitre in powder, 16; oil of eucalyptus, 1. Mix thoroughly. Himrod's, Bliss', and other "cures" for asthma are of similar composition.